Angels of Light | We Were Alive ! | Review

Release Magazine | PETER MARKS

Delicate interludes in the midst of absolute chaotic cruelty...

The Angels of Light is the current project of Michael Gira (founder and force behind the powerful and legendary Swans). This disc is comprised of live recordings taken from their 2001 US tour and it does not disappoint one iota. It begins with one of the calmer tracks from their 2001 album "How I Loved You" and then proceeds to become a brutish thug of an album for the core of the set. I was one of the fortunate ones who saw them on their recent tour and this live disc may not be the same as being there but if you turn it up extremely loud, you will be able to get the gist of what a viscerally enthralling show The Angels of Light put on when they play out. Delicate interludes in the midst of absolute chaotic cruelty which would make Glenn Branca blush. Gira navigates through songs from both Angels albums as well as two tracks from his acoustic solo album of last year. But by far and away the finest moment on this disc is the stunning track "All Souls Rising", a rip-roaring combination of acoustic freneticism and percussive work which would crack the skull of a deaf man wide open. Gira looked positively possessed when I saw him do this song and that vibe is somehow seared onto this disc. Swans fans will be quite smitten with this work as well due to two Swans tracks being included: "God Damn the Sun" (from 1989's "The Burning World") and the all-time favourite of many Swans fans "Failure" (from 1991's "White Light >from The Mouth of Infinity"). The musicianship on this release cannot be praised enough. This band deserves nothing less than absolute respect and awe, for what they produce truly is angelic. This album is limited to 750 copies and is available from the Young God records web site. All proceeds from this disc go towards completing the next Angels album, a fine cause to get behind indeed.